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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Movies with Tarek: ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’


Unlike the previous films in the franchise, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is not directed by Steven Spielberg. It’s directed by James Mangold. But Spielberg did serve as an executive producer and, most importantly, Harrison Ford is back in his role as Dr. Jones.

Ford continues to bring the joy and excitement that audiences know from the previous Indiana Jones films. The film doesn’t have many crazy surprises, but it’s a lot of fun in terms of adventure, finding clues, and keeping the archaeology side of Jones alive.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny begins with Jones on a suspenseful adventure (of course). His mission goes awry, he escapes, and the film then transitions to Jones trying to retire. But calling it a day as an archaeologist doesn’t happen soon enough for Jones. His retirement plans begin to get chaotic when he is informed of a one-of-a-kind artifact that could change the future. There are clues, puzzles, and the many layers of archaeology associated with this mission.

Jones must deal with Dr. Voller (played by Mads Mikkelsen), the criminal madman behind the artifact. With an old student returning into Jones’s life, Helena (played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge), and Jones’s old friend Sallah (played by John Rhys-Davies) involved, they all play a part in trying to get their hands on the artifact. Because if it falls into the hands of Dr. Voller, disaster could ensue. Jones also has a weird relationship with Marion (played by Karen Allen), but Jones maintains the classy vibe that the world loves. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny has humor and action, but then key moments of seriousness while they’re trying to retrieve the artifact.

The film has a number of moments that its audience will remember, mostly due to the personality in Ford’s performance. The adventure and action, with jumping off buildings and shootings, is fun as well. But even with the fun and excitement, I still felt Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny was a bit too predictable. The outcomes were expected, the music always comes in at the same time as in the previous films. Its setup feels like it’s been repeated consistently throughout the franchise.

Nonetheless, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is a unique continuation of the franchise. And in my view this one probably tops the previous film in the franchise from 2008, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. So even though it didn’t feel super special, it leaves a positive mark going forward.

Is Jones’ mission worth it? Are there new people to add to his mission? Will Jones ever be able to enjoy retirement? Find out in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.

Two and a half out of four stars.

Tarek Fayoumi
Tarek Fayoumihttp://movieswithtarek.com
Tarek Fayoumi is the creator and lead critic of movieswithtarek.com. He also contributes to Medium.com, is an approved critic of Bananameter, and a member of the Chicago Indie Critics (CIC) and Independent Film Critics of America.